An East Islip teenager is striving to keep his community clean -- one can and bottle at a time.
John Perniciaro, 12, a seventh-grader at East Islip Middle School, collected 2,246 empty cans and bottles from family and friends in a six-month span this school year as part of an environmental project tied to his school's science curriculum.
Money from the recycled bottles and cans was donated to the Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
"My project helped the environment by keeping our streets clean," John said. "It also helps to keep reusable material out of the waste stream so it can be used to make new products."
To organize his efforts, John set up a recycling center on his porch that included three large garbage bags to separate cans, plastic bottles and glass bottles. He also recycled a pizza box, using it as a sign that read "John's Recycling Center."
He also has participated in monthly cleanups of Nassau Avenue in Islip and the parking lot at East Islip Fire Department, through Trinity Lutheran Church in East Islip and the nonprofit Keep Islip Clean.
In earlier efforts, John raised $2,400 for the American Heart Association by participating in the organization's Hoops for Heart fundraisers.